By Peter Johnston
The home ground advantage clearly helped Red Cliffs’ cricketers on the weekend as they proved too strong for the Broken Hill A-Grade, B-Grade and Women’s teams who made the trip to the Sunraysia.
The Broken Hill A-Grade side elected to bat on a dampish pitch with a greenish tinge and was in immediate strife, losing five early wickets for only 18 runs.
Red Cliffs’ fast bowlers were able to extract steep lift and sideways movement from the wicket and the Broken Hill boys found it a real challenge to survive.
Sheldon Hall though, showed a touch of class to rescue the score somewhat with a neatly batted 27, including two big sixes.
Besides Hall, the rest of Broken Hill’s batters definitely showed they lacked much needed match practice, due to early washed-out games, and were bundled out for only 52 runs off 17 overs. The Red Cliff bowlers all bowled well using their home conditions to good advantage.
To have any chance in this game the Broken Hill bowlers were going to have to bowl well from the onset and maximise the pitch conditions. Laurence Hebbard certainly did that, having the home side sitting at two for 13 after four overs. It could quite easily have been three for 13 but confusion between Hebbard and Smith saw a skied catch spilled at a critical point in the game. The wicket was obviously starting to lose its venom after the first five overs and the Broken Hill bowlers at the same time lacked the pace and fire of their counterparts.
Red Cliffs went on the pass the Broken Hill score without the loss of any further wickets. Hebbard was by far and away the pick of the local bowlers with two for 15.
Redcliffs A -Grade – 2 for 56 d. Broken Hill 52
The B-Grade game turned out to be a little more competitive. One of Red Cliffs’ batsmen got away to score a well compiled 80 and that proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Dropped catches hurt the Broken Hill side badly but they battled the game out well and there were a couple of notable performances. Captain Clint Pearce made a well compiled 31 while Tom Burke and Binu Sebastian both made solid 16s. It should be remembered that the local B-Grade side play wholly on synthetic grass wickets so the
Red Cliffs turf pitch was foreign territory for them. Colby Stenhouse and Adam Perry both bowled well to take two wickets apiece.
Redcliffs B-Grade – 7 for 205 d. Broken Hill 122
The local women’s team were always going to be pushing uphill to record a win as they faced a combined Sunraysia team that was selected from 200 women compared to a Broken Hill side that was selected from about 45 players. Nonetheless, our girls proved extremely competitive and there were outstanding performances.
Lakisha Slone and Kendra Bugmy showed huge potential, making 18 and 19 not out, respectively, with the bat against top opposition bowling. What added merit to these performances was the fact the girls get few opportunities to play on turf wickets.
Keira Boxsell completed a good trifecta for the Broken Hill squad, claiming three excellent wickets with her spin bowling. The local women will derive great benefit from this experience. The girls on both sides made some new friendships, with Sunraysia keen to continue the rivalry and make the return trip to Broken Hill certainly next year, if not earlier.
Barrier District Cricket League Chairman, Peter Johnston, presented the Miner and Diggers Shield to Red Cliffs at a presentation and function held at the Red Cliffs’ Club after the games on the Saturday night. The shield had been previously held by the BDCL for their win over Red Cliffs in Broken Hill two years earlier.
Peter Johnston is Barrier District Cricket League Chairman